Thursday, August 31, 2006

2808 Some librarians deny

that this YouTube video could happen in their libraries, because they never see a janitor, let alone see one dancing. Remember the card catalog? We used to get requests to purchase them when people wanted to store their tapes in them. But that would be pretty low tech now in an era of i-pod storage.

Thursday Thirteen

13 phrases about architecture that make me shudder.

If architecture is best understood through our senses--why design and build theaters, libraries, schools, churches, homes, and federal or state buildings that assault and sicken, that weave, swoop, glare, and dismantle our sense of space? I visit many sites (my husband is an architect) just for fun and read many articles because the magazines keep coming.

Wexner Center at Ohio State; maintenance nightmare and tax money sponge

These writers' phrases of approval are often synonymous with "ugly," to my eye, and I know in 30-50 years we'll be taking them down.

1) cadence of chaos
2) giddy
3) radiating from every curve
4) recycled
5) engage in new forms
6) salvaged from demolished (insert a building that was lauded in the 1960s here)
7) faceted glazing
8) challenge your preconceptions
9) paradigm shift
10) glass addition to . . .(usually a 19th century building)
11) holistic and ecological
12) splayed
13) edgy or renegade or "on the cusp" or whatever shape a computer can work up

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2807 Rumsfield's speech to the Legion

It's being sliced and diced by the anti-administration folks, but Blue Star Chronicles has posted the whole speech, with her comments. She's got other good things to read too. She's worth linking to.

"Indeed, in the decades before World War II, a great many argued that the fascist threat was exaggerated — or that it was someone else’s problem. Some nations tried to negotiate a separate peace — even as the enemy made its deadly ambitions crystal clear.

It was, as Churchill observed, a bit like feeding a crocodile, hoping it would eat you last.

There was a strange innocence in views of the world. Someone recently recalled one U.S. Senator’s reaction in September 1939, upon hearing that Hitler had invaded Poland to start World War II. He exclaimed:

“Lord, if only I could have talked with Hitler, all this might have been avoided.”

Think of that!

I recount this history because once again we face the same kind of challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism.

Today, another enemy — a different kind of enemy — has also made clear its intentions — in places like New York, Washington, D.C., Bali, London, Madrid, and Moscow. But it is apparent that many have still not learned history’s lessons."

He's not calling our war protesters fascists or Nazis (indeed, they'd be the first slaughtered by the Islamofacists), but he is reminding them and us that feeding the crocs in hopes of placating them has been done and done and done.

On the other hand, doesn't that anonymous Senator sound like Kerry?

2806 Rhetorical question

Why is it that every Democrat and media muffin and leftist news source from Lamont to Sheehan to the New York Times can bad mouth the President, his motives, his commitment, his intelligence and denigrate our troops, Murthering them and lie about them, and hide all the achievements of the Iraqi people, BUT when the president goes on the offensive, and stops playing kissy face with them, all of a sudden he's being "political?" I flipped through the ABC/NBC/CBS morning news today (no remote and no cable), and I swear they were reading the same script/crap. Shame on you guys. You should all be splitting one rip and read salary. Click to off.

2805 Cleaning gutters

Worst home maintenance job in the world. Glad I don't do it! When we sold our home of 34 years, my husband was happy to say good-bye to the giant oak tree that didn't finish dropping its huge leaves until February. But the worst job was cleaning gutters. He would sit on the roof (metal), brace his feet on the guttering, and scoot around with a pail and yard bag. Metal roofs are hot in the sun and cold in the shade. A few times we tried a gutter cleaning company, but all they did was scoop it, drop it, and drown it. So then we had muck on the side of the house as it splashed going down, and clogged down spouts. That's history now. We love those yard and roof crews at the condo.

But there's still the cottage at Lakeside. This is a photo, taken this morning, of the late summer gutter cleaning. There will be a late autumn (if he can beat the snow) and a late spring cleaning also. Last year he came up with our son-in-law in the late fall and there was an early snow. They worked terribly hard, but much of the debris had frozen, so the mess was waiting for him in the spring. Although this is a one story house, it has a high foundation and an extension ladder is required. The tree behind him is a magnolia, which is magnificent in bloom, the few years we've seen it.

Are you sure you want a second home?

Things are quiet this week

The final week of the season at Lakeside has no programming, so it's a good time to work on the first selection for book club, Team of Rivals, which has about 900 pages. But we're also having a brisk wind from the northeast and the waves are huge. Lake Erie being so shallow can really kick up a storm. The dock has been closed for three days. My husband tried the video feature on his digital camera and got some good wave action--I just don't know how to put it on the blog. Any suggestions for a non-techie blogger?

Today I took the book toOoh-la-la", a coffee shop/deli that just opened in Lakeside this season.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

2803 Live from the Ladies' Room

It's a bit disconcerting to hear cell phone conversations from the next stall in the ladies' room--especially with toilets flushing and hand dryers humming. But imagine hearing the conversation over national television! Poor Kyra Phillips, CNN anchor. Her blather about her marriage and her bitchy sister-in-law went out over the President's speech in NOLA. Apparently, no one at CNN controls was paying attention to the speech and a colleague finally went to the rest room to stop her. Story here.

2802 Trip Tale: Tsarskoe Selo

This was the Tsars' summer residence, having been originally built for Peter the Great's Lithuanian bride, Ekaterina Alexeevna (became Empress Catherine I) in the early 18th century on land formerly controlled by Sweden. The last Tsar, Nicholas II, was born and lived here 22 years. Some of this family's private rooms have been restored. After the Communist revolution it became a museum, and in 1937 the town around it was renamed Pushkin, in honor of Russia's famed poet. Each monarch who lived here remodeled and changed things so there is a long list of architects and decorators. Catherine the Great was particularly interested in the gardens and used German and English designers.

Tsarskoe Selo (Царское Село) was virtually destroyed by the Nazis in WWII, and horses were stabled in some of the buildings. It is only partially restored, but is so huge it can accomodate throngs of visitors--as our little G-6 tour discovered.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

2801 Now is the time

to be sure of your core beliefs and values. The elections are about two months off. Unfortunately, the research says that our brains are more impressed by the volatile emotion of the moment and negative ads than our intellect and reasoning. Both parties are going for the niche voter--knowing that may be the key.

In Ohio, for instance, the ads for Strickland (D) contain all the buzz words for a Republican--family, lower taxes, and jobs for the middle class. But he is a Democrat. Then the Republicans are rhyming an ad with Brown's name, like "Brown has let us down," using typical buzz words, higher taxes, hurt the elderly. So you can't rely on just the words--know your own core beliefs and what a candidate believes. We're getting 3 or 4 ads every half hour.

So take a few minutes to clarify what you really believe, and refine it for the local campaigns. Then when the political ads start swamping the airwaves and cyberspace, you won't be hood winked. Don't vote just for a party. Vote for the candidate who will work the hardest for your beliefs, but if a party best respresents you, support it. Don't let gasoline prices or the latest bomb threat in Baghdad decide your vote. Bush bashing or Hilary hating is not a rational plan for getting through the election ads. Yes, I know it's not a presidential year, but many important state and federal seats are open.

Update: Here's another buzz word/phrase to look out for: "Interestingly, Andrew Cuomo has a political ad on TV how he took on the NRA to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but never mentions that his program was so ineffective and stupid that Congress passed a national law to prohibit it." Budd Schroeder at American Daughter

Monday, August 28, 2006

2800 And if a Republican had said this--with pride?

Chris Wallace to Joe Biden: “What kind of a chance would a Northeastern liberal like Joe Biden stand in the South if you were running in Democratic primaries against southerners like Mark Warner and John Edwards.”

Joe Biden: “Better than anybody else. You don’t know my state. My state was a slave state. My state is a border state. My state has the eighth-largest black population in the country. My state is anything from a Northeast liberal state.”

So is he saying Delaware is a southern state because of slavery? That slavery is what defines the South even in 2006? That Delaware borders the South and therefore isn't in the northeast? That Delaware is a conservative state? Delaware was the first state to sign the Constitution; its state colors are colonial blue and buff. Sounds a bit northeastern to me.

2799 Gasoline prices in Ohio

Yesterday we filled up at $2.59 in Columbus, and today passed a station in Dublin on our way out where it was $2.54. Last year, the WSJ reports, it was averaging $2.53 in the midwest in August. This is still higher than two years ago, however, I think it makes the Democrats very angry. It was an easy issue--took no thought or planning. They know that for some reason, nothing makes a voter madder than high gasoline prices and when the media mentions it every evening on the news, the President's poll numbers dip. People who bought huge SUVs and Hummers and power boats knowing what gas guzzlers they are, will actually vote for a party based on gasoline prices. Amazing. Americans are a very spoiled bunch.

Monday Memories

Memories of School

I saw this meme at Cathy Knits, and it is supposed to be for Friday, but I’m moving it to my Monday Memories. Cathy is a teacher and her school started August 4!

1. What is your earliest memory of school?

I attended kindergarten in Alameda, California, and I remember a lot about it. It was a one floor plan with canopies outside joining the buildings. We were given milk in small bottles which tasted wretched--why I don’t know, because I like milk. There were African American and Filipino children in my class and I’d never seen either being from rural Illinois.

2. Who was a favorite teacher in your early education?

Miss DeWall was my third grade teacher in Forreston, Il and my favorite. None of my classmates remembered her so I finally contacted her cousin (my age and also a teacher) to confirm it wasn’t just my imagination that she was so wonderful, kind and funny.

3. What do you remember about school “back then” that is different from what you know about schools now?

My first grade teacher would yank on my braids if I got my face too close to my work, and would tie a towel around my head if I talked out of turn. I don’t think that would be allowed today, nor was it appropriate then--other teachers didn’t behave that way. Special needs children were in the classrooms, but often didn’t stay in school because there was no work at their level and they weren't treated well. However, I remember a 16 year old in a 7th grade class. The female teachers all wore suits or dresses and high heels. Classrooms were much quieter. The music teacher served many schools in the district and we'd do a fabulous production once a year; there were no art classes except what the classroom teacher provided in any school I attended, K-12.

4. Did you have to memorize in school? If so, share a poem or song you learned.

We did some memorization, but not a lot. It’s one of the lacks that makes me wonder when the "golden age" of education was. I was always impressed that my mother, who went to school in the 1920s, could recite "Hiawatha" while we were doing dishes. I do remember some songs we learned, like Yankee Doodle, Waltzing Matilda and Home on the Range.

5. Did you ever get in trouble at school? Were there any embarrassing moments you can share?

See above. I was always talking out of turn. Still do. I was a real mess in first grade. I’m living proof you can have a bad start, and still love school. We’d moved in mid-year, and in my new school I stood up to look at someone else’s paper because we were “spelling,” and I was clueless. Although we were reading at the first school, we hadn’t started writing down words as the teacher spoke them aloud. I also had to stay after school one time until I could tell my teacher what a paragraph was. In 2001 my Dad drove me through a cemetery where her gravestone was--but she hadn’t died yet! I think she was over 100 years old when she died a year or two ago.

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

2797 Get back to work

If you're reading this at work, I hope you don't work for the IRS. WSJ via the Treasury Inspector General reported that 74% of IRS employees had "inappropriate" e-mail messages when their mailboxes were reviewed--chain letters, jokes, offensive content and sexual content.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

2796 Forreston, Illinois Veterans' Memorial

On September 11, 2006 the final list of names for the Forreston Veterans' Memorial will be released to the engraver. Over 600 names will appear representing wars from the Civil War through the current Iraq conflict. My father, a veteran of WWII, is on the list, but I was surprised as I looked through the site, how many names I recognized, WWI, WWII, and 1950s and Vietnam era (some of whom were my contemporaries). I saw neighbors, fathers of classmates and friends, local business men and community leaders--people I hadn't thought of in many years. Which is why memorials matter. Many people have contributed to our freedom; many disagreed at the time that it was a worthwhile sacrifice.

If you have someone to add or a name to correct, you can go to the online site for an e-mail. A Forreston address, (past or present) is required for eligibility. National Guard and Reserves need to have been on active duty and have veteran status to be included.

First Christian Church, Columbus, Indiana

Columbus, IN is the fifth most important site in the United States for architecture, and it all started with this congregation hiring Eliel Saarinen to design the first truly modern church building in the U.S.

Those of us on this architectural tour were very disappointed to see banners hanging in the sanctuary, and the altar removed to make room for a drum set and speakers. Stickers were on the windows. Why do worship committees and musicians think interior visual spaces don't matter?

2795 FLW Tour: Dayton Medical Clinic

After Springfield and Sidney on our Frank Lloyd Wright July tour, it was on to Dayton, Oh to visit a FLW medical bulding, which although nearly 50 years old, still works surprisingly well.

In the guide book this is called the Meyers Medical Clinic, but is now the home office of James Apesos, MD, a plastic surgeon.

After Dayton it was a beautiful drive through lush Indiana farmland to Columbus, Indiana. The previous Friday we had been at the Finland summer home of Eliel and Eero Saarinen, and now we were in Columbus, IN where Eliel designed perhaps the first modern American church.

We checked in at our B & B (the former city hall, converted in the mid-1980s) designed by another well-known architect, Charles F. Sparrel, who did many Columbus buildings in the 1800s, and walked to our restaurant. It was a very busy day!

Other entries about this tour here, here, here, and here.

The Lakeside Antique Sale

is usually held the first day (Saturday) of the final week. There won't be any programming after tonight, and even the coffee shop will be closed Monday-Wednesday next week. Sigh. Here's some more photos of the antique sale, which began as a flea market 45 years ago.

This isn't for sale, but is across the street from the sale, and I think it is pretty.

Here I am looking in a mirror.

The Greatest Generation--sailors finishing their training in 1942 at the Great Lakes Naval Center in Chicago. How many didn't come home?

These young entrepreneurs set up shop across the street selling their homemade wares.

2793 Hull Pottery

At an antique show, I always look for Hull Pottery. Hull was made in Crooksville, Ohio in the first half of the 20th century, sort of a cheaper version of Roseville and Weller. But there were many potteries in Ohio--in 1850 there were over 40 just in that area. I bought my first piece at a yard sale in Upper Arlington around 1972 for $3.00 and my last piece maybe 10 or 15 years ago for about $45. I only like the pre-1950, matt finish artware. I finally found one small piece at the last booth I went to at the Lakeside Antique Sale today--$75.00. So I put it back gently. There is now an association of people who collect Hull and they just had their convention, so maybe that's where all the Hull went. And why the prices are so high.

The antique vendors who set up in South Auditorium probably pay more, but they are protected if it rains--and it is cloudy today.

I did buy a small book of poetry, Catawba Stories by William N. Troy from a woman I call "the book lady." She is almost always in the same spot, and I bought an Elsie Dinsmore from her about 20 years ago. I think she has been doing this sale for over 40 years. I keep books in my cottage that are specific to this area. It's not the best poetry I've ever read, but it is local--there's one about the Catawba Ferry and another about the graves on Johnson Island (Civil War POW prison).

Friday, August 25, 2006

2792 CFC, HFC and DDT--an alphabet soup of good intentions gone bad

“When more than two dozen countries undertook in 1989 to fix the ozone hole over Antarctica, they began replacing chloroflourocarbons in refrigerators, air conditioners and hair spray.

But they had little idea that using other gases that contain chlorine or fluorine instead also would contribute greatly to global warming.” AP Report

This reminds me of the malaria problem--environmentalists in the 1970s demanded that the USA stop producing DDT based on faulty research by a non-scientist (Rachel Carson) that some birds might die (people were never in danger), so environmental hysteria ended up killing more Africans than the 17th century slave trade by allowing the resurgence of malaria which was all but conquered by 1967. Recently I read a current solution to malaria that included draining swamps and hanging bed netting! What? Aren't wetlands critical to the earth's survival and fresh water supply? Who's in charge here?

“The chemicals that replaced CFCs are better for the ozone layer, but do little to help global warming. These chemicals, too, act as a reflective layer in the atmosphere that traps heat like a greenhouse.

That effect is at odds with the intent of a second treaty, drawn up in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997 by the same countries behind the Montreal pact. In fact, the volume of greenhouse gases created as a result of the Montreal agreement's phaseout of CFCs is two times to three times the amount of global-warming carbon dioxide the Kyoto agreement is supposed to eliminate.

This unintended consequence now haunts the nations that signed both U.N. treaties.” USAToday article

Of course, there are some countries that didn’t sign both. Like the United States. Thank you President Clinton.

Do you suppose we should stop tinkering and assuming we are in charge? Should Al Gore sit out a few innings? Hot air seems to be contributing to the problem.

2791 Social Capital in Librarianship, pt. 2

One of my big accomplishments in my career was the creation of a luncheon group to meet for social purposes. No rules, no dues, no business, just fun away from meetings, budgets and staff problems. Yes, me, who was not a joiner, created something for other people to join. Isn't that a hoot? The engineering librarian and I were talking one day at lunch about feeling left out, so we decided to create something.

The luncheon group we formed was called "Ladies of the Sciences," or LOTS, and it included all the female science departmental librarians who worked outside the Main Library. I think we also included a representative from the Health Sciences Library, which technically is a separate system on the campus and has its own funding stream. So it was the lady librarians in Agriculture, Vet Med, Engineering, Pharmacy, Geology and a Health Sciences person (this may have rotated).

Within the year, however, we'd started discussing business and had developed a listserv. It was also the era of the rising tide of PC--political correctness. It was rude to be exclusive, even for fun. So it was decided that LOTS would become, "Librarians of the Sciences" so we could include Bernie from Physics and Bruce from Biology and a couple of bibliographers from related but non-hard science fields.

I don't know if you've ever been in a SSSG (sex segregated social group), but it totally changed the dynamics of the group when we added men. Believe it or not, even middle aged librarians giggle, squeal, tell jokes and talk about fashion and babies when there are no guys around. But add a man (both Bruce and Bern are straight and Bern didn't eat lunch) and the camaraderie is gone. Soon it was all about cancelling subscriptions, realigning staff, changing priorities, paradigms and segueing. We started having "guests" like the ILL person, or our boss, or another assistant director. We may have even had Bill Studer, the director, lunch with us--can't remember.

The group is still going--I think they still use the format I set up--rotate hosting alphabetically and meet once a month at an off campus restaurant chosen by the host. Did I hear somewhere that they were going to have a retreat?

When your baby grows up, you don't have a lot of say in the direction she goes.

Friday Family Photo

This is my husband, about age 4 or 5, his sister Jean, and cousin Norma Lou with their grandfather, whom they all called "Biggie." He was much adored, and my husband still talks about him 60+ years later. Norma lived with her grandparents and my husband and siblings stayed with them almost every week-end.

Their grandparents were a part of their lives in ways I couldn't even imagine, because these little ones all had divorced and remarried parents. I had six grandparents and thought they were just nice relatives whom we visited every Sunday so I could see my cousins. I really grew to appreciate my grandparents when I became an adult and understood the difficulties and joys of their lives better. And I was fortunate to have them many years--I was 43 when my paternal grandparents died, and 21 when my great-grandmother died.

2789 Social Capital in Librarianship, pt. 1

On "Take your daughter to Work Day" I was surprised to see how many middle school students thought librarianship would be an interesting career path. Although I'd worked in public and academic libraries as a teenager, I didn't really think about a career in that field. At these presentations, I'd tell the wannabees what I'd missed--it had gone right over my head for years: that social capital will end up being more important than human capital no matter what career you choose. If I'd known in high school and college that committee work and networking were critical in life, perhaps I would have joined more organizations, committees and "teams" early on just to watch and observe the folks for whom it comes naturally.

According to people who study things like organizations and employment, "human capital" is your education, work experience, on the job training, and all the knowledge and skills you've developed over your lifetime. For instance, I have a B.S., and an M.L.S. and numerous post-grad courses and workshops, but I've also clerked in a drug store, detasseled corn, babysat, owned a horse and I've always liked to write and draw. All that prepared me for my library career, but it is quantifiable, and not dissimilar to that of many librarians. I can put it on paper (or a computer document) and you'd figure it out.

Social capital, according to the experts, is an intangible, unquantifiable asset that includes your contacts, networks and work relationships, and it is different for everyone. But eventually, it's your social capital that moves you ahead. Social capital requires collaboration, volunteering, team work, treating others with respect (especially clients and customers) and at least occasionally attending social functions and meetings you don't care about and pretending you do. At review or promotion time, someone has to know who you are! Someone other than your immediate supervisor and your employees. Every time you send an e-mail, volunteer to write up a task force report, gossip, chip in for a gift, or go to lunch or play golf with a colleague, you are putting something into your social capital account.

If possibilities to grow your account are slim to none where you work, there are always local, state or national professional organizations. Fortunately for me, there was a large professional organization other than the American Library Association--the Medical Library Association--and it had a small sub-section (under 100 people) for veterinary medicine librarians. They were the nicest, most helpful group of people I met in my career. We had a camaraderie I never had in my day-to-day position. They made it easy to be a joiner and a participant. As long as I focused my energy on things that would directly benefit my small group, I was happy. I was able to put a little social capital in my bank of life with their help. So when it was promotion time in my own institution, there was a little input from around the country, and from other countries.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

13 things our cat does to say "Welcome Home"

A few weeks ago I did a Thursday 13 on all the places we'd travelled in July. Traveling is a problem when you have a pet, so we relied on friends and family to keep our calico happy. But she also moved around a lot. When we finally walked in the door after being gone for two weeks, our usually aloof kitty did:

1) She was watching out the kitchen window when she heard the garage door go up,
2) Ran to the door,
3) Played coy at first like she didn't know us,
4) Then fell down and showed her belly,
5) And rolled and twisted
6) Then rubbed all over the hall corner.
7) She followed me everywhere,
8) Looking at me with weepy eyes,
9) She sat in my lap every chance she got, especially when I wore black,
10) And purred (unusual for her),
11) And made little noises like Meow-akak, so quietly,
12) And curled up close with me when I took a nap,
13) Wiping her wet nose all over me.

She's almost back to normal, sleeping in secret places and showing up only when she hears cheese, but she's still following me around more.

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2787 Dear OIT at OSU

You wouldn't have to send me 40 messages that my storage is full in my OSU e-mail box if you would filter spam. 1 out of 100 e-mails to that address is not about sex, or "mortagge" or a phony account number at a bank where I don't bank, or preapproved cash or Vegas Big Buck$. That one message is something I signed up for years ago but can't find in the mess you've made of my dot edu address. Hire a computer student and fix this.

2786 A tribute to a Soldier

Ghost Works has a wonderful tribute to her husband for her Thursday Thirteen. Don't miss it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

2785 Political gobbledy-gook

I've never had a course in economics or politics, but even I know gibberish and buzz words:

"Clean energy can be a big part of the debate over how America advances economically, in both micro and macro terms: how we develop good American jobs, how America leads the world technologically and economically, and how we help Americans save money and maintain their standard of living. We as a party and as candidates have a huge opportunity that should not be missed—one that addresses not only core economic insecurities of Americans, but defines us as a forward looking, prescient party."

clean energy (buzz words)
part of the debate (east coast or DC gibberish)
America advances (buzz words)
micro economics (small gibberish)
macro economics (big gibberish)
America leads (buzz words)
technologically and economically (buzz words)
Americans save money (buzz words)
Americans maintain their standard of living (buzz words)
addresses core economic insecurities (somber gibberish)
We are forward looking (buzz words)
We are prescient (highfalutin gibberish)

Guess which party is developing this no-plan plan? (Al Quinlan and Mike Bocian, August 23, 2006)

2784 The Zogby Bio Poll

The USNews reports the outcome of a John Zogby poll where voters get only a brief bio, but no name, to choose a candidate.

The 2008 line-up

The Democratic order and percentage:
Mark Warner (former Gov. VA), 14.8;
retired Gen. Wesley Clark, 14.2;
Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold, 12.2;
Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, 11.1;
former Sen. John Edwards, 10.4;
Sen. Hillary Clinton, 5.6;
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, 5.3;
former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, 4.9;
Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, 4.9;
Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, 3;
Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, 2.8.

The Republican rankings:
Newt Gingrich, 21.4 (whom I wouldn't vote for based on his personal life);
Sen. John McCain, 13.3 (ditto);
former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 11.2;
Rep. Tom Tancredo, 9.9;
Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, 6.1;
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, 5.8;
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, 5.6;
Virginia Sen. George Allen, 4.9;
Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback,4.3;
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 3.8;
New York Gov. George Pataki, 2.8.

However, people don't base their vote on information, voting record or reasoning, but on emotion pumped up by the opponent's side, so I wouldn't get too worked up about this.

Samuel Hodesson, DVM and the Veterinary Medicine Library

For some reason I was checking out the home page of the Veterinary Medicine Library at Ohio State University the other day and discovered it had been renamed The Samuel and Marian Hodesson Veterinary Medicine Library. So I started poking around the college alumni files, the college records, the AVMA obituaries and the OSUL records and found no information on this name change. I asked the Ag Librarian and she didn't know about the change, and I e-mailed the vet librarian, and got no response. So I'll write up what I know.

Sometime in the late 1990s, a man in his 80s walked into my library. I considered myself to be the front-line PR person for the College of Veterinary Medicine. I was always very nice to school children (future veterinary students) who called or came in for school projects, and alumni (future donors) who sometimes became sentimental about the library or college as they aged. My library had the largest endowment of any library in the system.

Dr. Hodesson wanted to know how to do database searching for journal articles about dog disease. Many people that age are reluctant to try new things, but not Dr. Hodesson. He was excited about the possibilities of computer searching and lapped up information about boolean logic and British spelling. Fortunately, he found me--I'd worked in the 80s for the Ohio Department of Aging, and knew that older people (actually, anyone over 25) learn similarly to children with learning disabilities. "Hear it, see it, say it, do it." And they can learn new tasks--it just takes a bit longer. So I spent several hours with him that day (his wife was in town at a dog show), and he happily left with many pages of print-outs. (Tip for librarians: don't make visitors pay for printing--they could be donors.) Thereafter, we had numerous phone calls and I would copy table of contents and send them to him. Unfortunately, the one thing he really wanted, to be able to log on and do his own searching, was not possible. There was no way to provide an alumnus with an off site login--no matter how much money he offered. I just checked the library's instructions for this, and even today, even with the library named for him, he would not be able to do this from Arizona.

Soon I received a letter that he wanted to donate money to the library to establish such a program. But I was a bit careless and naive, and let the college administration know of my wonderful Dr. Hodesson. Technically, I had no independently controlled funds--someone else always held the purse strings, so I had to find the right department (and the university always takes a steep percentage of any gift to pay for administering it).

Obtaining money for an academic library through an endowment is very tricky: 1) as a library, you have no specific constituency like a department or program, and can't solicit funds; 2) donors like to see things that will last, but you really need money for staff or for serials, which are the big ticket items and require a continuing account; 3) if the Dean of the college or the library director finds out ahead of time that a donor is specifically interested in donating to your library, he'll find a way to grab it away from you redirect it to their own control because everyone's job these days depends on finding outside funding, especially for buildngs.

In the case of the Segall Endowment for the Veterinary Library, no one knew Dr. Sam Segall had money so no one asked for it, and no one knew until he died that the Veterinary Library was in his will (he also established a scholarship for minority vet students). So that was a done deal (late 80s). Some of the smaller endowments I had were in memory of deceased faculty and had quietly been compounding and growing. Over the years, records of them had sort of disappeared until I inquired after pouring over old files after a visit from a very old retired faculty member who remembered when it was set up.

So the college development officer made it clear to me that Dr. Hodesson would be their contact, not mine. I lost touch with him, then I retired in 2000 after working for years on plans for a new library (which I hated doing and never liked how it turned out). What a surprise to see his name now on that very library!

From a University of Arizona newsletter, I learned Dr. Hodesson died on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 2003. He was a graduate of OSU, had served in Korea, was a practicing veterinarian and in 1967 became the director at the College of Medicine animal facility at the University of Arizona. From 1990 until his death, he was a contributing editor for Dog News and other popular animal health publications. His wife Marian is a well-known dog show judge, active in that field since the 1940s.

2782 Minimum Wage

I still remember his face and it's been at least 15 years. I would leave the Veterinary Medicine Library about 1 p.m. and drive to a near-by Wendy's and get a cup of coffee, or maybe even French fries. There I observed a new employee who appeared to be part of a work program. He was overweight, sweaty, and didn't look too bright. Two men brought him to work and sat in a booth for about 30 minutes watching him while he mopped floors. They didn't appear to be the sharpest knives in the drawer either, so I assumed they were either relatives, or state employees in a work release or welfare-to-work program--maybe JTPA functionaries--or possibly they were with an organization like Salvation Army or Good Will who received government money for job training. (In 1991 Ohio alone had 51 programs through JTPA with a budget of $981 million.)

In a few months I noticed he moved up to cleaning windows and doors, and then the rest rooms. Still the "trainers" sat and watched with their clipboards. Then he began bussing and cleaning tables, clumsy and slow, but adequate. And the other guys watched. Then I saw him in the kitchen grill area fixing orders, and the watchers were gone. The cheery Wendy's shift manager was supervising him. Maybe a year later, I saw this same guy, neat and clean and proud of his uniform, smiling and taking orders at the counter, dealing with difficult customers, and making change. Then I saw him working the take-out window, which is really high pressure and requires a speed I wouldn't have imagined he could do.

When the road work on Olentangy was started, I stopped going to that Wendy's. But about a year later I dropped in there, and he was still there--and so was the cheery manager.

Having worked in a JTPA program myself in the 1980s (developing workshops and publications for unemployed older workers), I suspect this worker was paid much less than minimum wage with the tax payer making up the difference, so that Wendy's was actually receiving money to train and manage this worker. The two guys who watched him until he could get off the program and be hired on his own merits, probably counseled him, provided transportation, and worked out any snags with the restaurant manager.

But the fact remains, until he developed some work skills and a work ethic, he wasn't even worth the minimum. Through patience, assistance, and a government or private work program to bring the employee up to an acceptable level, one worker was probably saved from a life time of petty crime or homelessness.

There are many workers who are not at the current minimum wage, who are hired in with disappointing results. Employers are paying them $9 or $10 an hour and they can't even do the minimum expectations, like smiling, standing up straight, arriving on time, or finding work to do without being told and not talking on the cell phone or playing games on the computer. My son told me this week he was going to have to let an employee go ($10/hr)--had only done 2 things without being told in his first 90 days. "I can't wait for 3 months for the next 2 things," he said.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

2781 Feral cats

Here's a little guy who was on our deck today.

Ready to run at a moment's notice--and they are incredibly fast.

And then there was this fella, who wasn't feral--so friendly he kept getting under my feet every time I'd get the camera ready. Truly, feral and domestic cats are like two completely different species.

2780 Got horses?

And kids to send to college? Here's a great house. I just love to feature real estate on my blog that I think is a good deal, and in this case, I didn't find it in the newspaper. I just happen to know the owner, and she is settling an estate. Eight acres and a college town. Can't beat that!

$249,900. 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, family room, basement. On 8 acres.

Greenville, Illinois is a lovely small town, home to a Christian college. You could run your own business, or be in sales, or computer-commute to St. Louis. It's just 50 miles. Hey, that's next door in LA or DC! It's got a hospital and a small airport, too.

2779 Lakeside Dock Scenes

The dock at Lakeside, OH, is a favorite gathering spot for families, lovers, fishermen and sunset watchers.

The Pavilion opens to the dock. It was torn down in the 50s for a "modern" flat roof blob and rebuilt in the late 80s when the planners came to their senses about the value of nostalgia and beauty in tourist areas.

This mom was teaching her boys how to fish, and each time I thought I had a good photo, one of them would jump up and move. That's Kelley's Island in the distance.

This couple was working a Soduku puzzle. The crowd at the end of the dock were watching a regatta.

These folks were anticipating

the sunset.

Traverse Bay area of Michigan

Northern Michigan was magnificent when we visited our friends Joan and Jerry at their summer home in Boyne City on Aug. 7-9. If there is a prettier lake color than Lake Charlevoix on a sunny August day, I'd like to see it. The first day we drove around the lake and the second we crossed it by boat. Every town I've marked in green we visited.

This is the view where Lake Charlevoix empties into Little Traverse Bay (with a little help from a canal).

We were particularly interested in Bay View, a Methodist Chautauqua community founded in 1875 (2 years after Lakeside). There are 500 wonderful homes there (sort of surrounded by Petoskey), and my husband, an architect, loved it. It really doesn't have the same community feel as Lakeside, but does provide some wonderful theater and musical performances at the John Hall Auditorium.

Bay View has a central "campus" area, whereas Lakeside has a business district with little stores and restaurants.

If you can stay a spell, the Little Traverse Bay area would be a good spot. Gorgeous views, great accomodations and beautiful sunsets, with neat little shopping areas. But we found it to be 7.5 hours from Toledo, which is on the Michigan/Ohio border. . . and we're really spoiled by being 2.5 hours from Lake Erie.

Monday, August 21, 2006

2777 Trip Tale: St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg

After a wonderful visit to the Hermitage Museum and its art shop on Tuesday morning July 18, we ate lunch at a nice restaurant--fish soup, salad, and salmon with slivered almonds. Then our G-6 (three couples from the USA) headed for St. Isaac's Cathedral with our guide, Veronika. Really, it is almost more than the eye and mind can take in during such a brief period. St. Isaac's was built between 1818 and 1858, by the French-born architect Auguste Montferrand and is one of the most impressive buildings in St. Petersburg. Definitely see this if you are planning a trip. The communists closed it as a house of worship (can hold 14,0000) and reopened it as a museum, but it is a church again. What look like paintings are actually very detailed mosaics, and the columns are made of malachite and lapis lazuli. Although I don't think our guide was particularly observant, she always referred to the cathedrals as being "of our faith," probably not considering the Baptists and Pentecostals who are evangelizing there authentically Russian.

The architect's model. Although he lived his professional life in Russia, he was not Orthodox, so could not be buried in the cathedral as he had wished. Our guide told us his wife took the body back to France.

We returned to our hotel about 4:30, rested, had dinner at 7 p.m., and then attended a folk dance performance in the hotel's theater. A very full day indeed!

2776 Speedy Spanish Rice

Mom used to make something called Spanish rice. I really liked it, but never asked her how she made it. I made a quick, close second today. My son has had a very good garden year and brought over a jar of his home made salsa and another of spaghetti sauce, plus sacks of fresh tomatoes and cukes. So here's how I made my Spanish rice, which took about 4 minutes. (One serving)

1 package of Trader Joe's frozen brown rice (3 minutes in the microwave)
3 Tbsp of the fresh salsa (more if you wish)
mixed in a small bowl with
3 Tbsp shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Pour 1/2 the hot rice over the mix, stir, and return to microwave for 30 seconds. Hmmmm. Good! (Put the rest of the rice in frig for tomorrow.)

Monday Memories: the college laundry

Last week I noticed an article in a Toledo paper that reported some Ohio colleges were offering amenities for students as an enticement to stay in the dorms--one being free laundry facilities. So that put me to thinking. How did I do laundry when I was in college? For the life of me, I can't remember how I did my laundry at McKinley Hall at the University of Illinois, but I do have a snippet of memory left from Oakwood Hall at Manchester College in Indiana.

The current Oakwood Hall on campus is a nice modern building, but the old Oakwood that was there in the 1950s was probably about 50 years old and a little down at the heels. It's possible that it was built in stages, so the dorm rooms may have been older than the lounges and porch. Both of my sisters had also lived in Oakwood when they attended Manchester. I think part of the basement was a dining hall for the whole college which everyone entered from the front outside entrance and part of it was laundry facilities with a door in the back.

My roommate used to do her 2 brothers' laundry, and if you had a boyfriend on campus (mine was at the University of Illinois), you did his laundry. Although I can't imagine why, there was some social cachet (and cash) in doing a guy's laundry ["Would you like to go steady and do my laundry?"]. Or maybe the men's dorm didn't have washers and dryers. I think if a guy didn't have a girlfriend with access to the machines in Oakwood, he sent his laundry home to mama.

Although I can't remember what the machines looked like or the route to get there from my dorm room, I remember the laundry room also had ironing boards, and tables set up for sewing and studying. One night Sylvia (friend from high school who also lived in Oakwood) and I were out after curfew. In those days, women had curfews but men did not--the reasoning being that if the girls were safely inside, the boys would be home studying. We stayed out deliberately, but were only walking the streets of North Manchester talking. When we got back to Oakwood Hall, we tapped on the basement window and someone doing her laundry, opened the door and let us in. We didn't even have to crawl in a window, which is what we thought we'd have to do. Sigh. We were so bad at being bad.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

8th Grade History Quiz

You Passed 8th Grade US History

Congratulations, you got 7/8 correct!

2773 Week Eight 2006 at Lakeside

At Lakeside, the Chautauqua community on Lake Erie, the week runs from Saturday to Saturday, with the special entertainment usually being on Saturday. This past week (I wrote about CeCe Winans earlier) we had special treats on Thursday and Friday, too. On Thursday we enjoyed the beautiful harmony of The Wailin' Jennys, a Canadian women's trio who write, play and sing folk, pop and Celtic music. Ohio borders Canada (if you don't mind getting wet) and is a red state; might be good if they left their Bush comments across the border. It gets a smattering of applause, but I saw a number of people leaving Hoover (as I left).

On Friday the River City Brass from Pittsburgh filled the stage and the auditorium with a BIG sound. Oh, how I love brass. And they can sing too! The conductor looks quite laid back, but then he turns around and talks to the audience and is great fun. His regional humor is funny--he understands his audience! Huge standing ovations for these guys (and a few ladies) who played, Big Band swing and jazz, music from Broadway and Hollywood, classical and contemporary masterworks, and traditional marches, with 25 instrumentalists and some on percussion.

Wednesday night after dinner with Wes and Sue we attended the symphony for selections by Mozart and Tschaikovsky. As usual, it was fabulous, with the best save for last (my husband says), because I almost always get sleepy and go home during intermission.

This was interfaith week, I think, which I pretty much ignored when I saw that there were 3 Muslims, one Sikh and one liberal Christian on the program. Usually I manage at least one or two lectures, but this year have not attended any.

2772 Happy Birthday Bro

I can't get Blogger to upload a fresh photo, so I'll reuse one I had for our Rock River Cruise last year.

2771 The wedding season

Yesterday we attended a wedding in Kirtland, Oh at the Mooreland Mansion on the campus of Lakeland College. A beautiful spot for a garden wedding--however, after a week of gorgeous weather, there was a downpour! I felt sorry for the bride and groom, but even moreso for the parents who had been watching the weather sites about every 30 seconds. By 4:30, I think they were down to plan D and went with it. We have watched the groom grow up, and I think my daughter may have even been a babysitter. His dad "Eric" is one of the links on my blog--so I hope he posts some photos. His family has also enjoyed Lakeside over the years and they sail, so we gave the happy couple one of my husband's paintings of sailboats against a sunset on Lake Erie. Best wishes Dawn and John-Paul.

About a month from now we'll be in California for my sister-in-law's wedding. Last night at the reception I realized I need to buy a tiny little fancy purse, because lugging a bag around with check book, misc. meds, calendar and sunglasses is just no fun. Plus, we older ladies need to lighten the load on our shoulders. The little shop "Cottage Accessories" here at Lakeside has some lovely beaded numbers--good excuse to shop. But also, I have an old black velvet dress purse that belonged to my husband's Aunt Roberta. She had no children and really fussed over all her nieces and nephews. So possibly I could use that and let her (now deceased) sort of be there in spirit.

Friday, August 18, 2006

2770 Veritas Vincit

This Latin motto, "Truth Conquers," would make an interesting blog title, I thought. Upon checking, I discovered 5 other people thought so too and had used it in some form or other. So, I guess I won't use it. It was the motto for the college that used to be in Mt. Morris, Illinois. I looked at a site that reported on college mottoes, and this one doesn't seem to be in use any longer. Interesting.

When the Methodist Episcopal Church reprentatives drove a stake in the prairie at a high point where they would establish a seminary, there weren't any houses or settlers, although a few white families had been settling in the area. The village was laid out by the trustees of Rock River Seminary which owned all the land where the town now stands. But it was the local people, mostly recently arrived from Maryland who donated the money and the land, 480 acres, to induce the church to take on this challenge of establishing a school in the middle of nowhere. Alexander Hamilton's son had explored the area and Abraham Lincoln fought the Indians near by, but there wasn't much going on.

The college prospered for awhile, but the Methodists established another college in Evanston (Northwestern) and that sort of ate into the pool of potential students. But it did turn out about 7,500 students, a lot of them clergy, lawyers, politicians, editors and businessmen before it closed in 1878. It was reopened in 1879 by a group of Brethren businessmen as an institution for their young people (now Church of the Brethren), and it became Mount Morris Seminary and Collegiate Institute, and then Mt. Morris College. After a fire in 1931, the college closed in 1932 (there had also been a fire in 1912, but the college rebuilt). My parents were freshmen when it burned; my mother's parents had also met there. In 1994 the town school system merged with Oregon with high schoolers being bussed. In 2004 the elementary school was destroyed by fire, and now the little ones are bussed too. The original high school where I had classes for a year, later became a junior high, and it burned in 1989 (no longer in use as a school).

The current students have all adjusted--probably better than the adults. Just as my generation had no memory of the college except what our parents told us, so there will soon be young people who have no memory of a town school. It does seem odd now to me, an outsider for many years, that the little town created because people cared about education, doesn't have a college, or a high school or an elementary school.

Information from "Mt. Morris Past and Present" by Harry G. Kable, rev. ed., 1938 and photo from "The 1929 Life" of Mt. Morris College.

2769 FLW Tour: War Memorial Columbus, IN

When I first saw this war memorial on the lawn of the county courthouse in Columbus, IN, I thought it really clashed. However, when you walk up to it and enter it, it really is impressive and sobering. Particularly moving are the letters home in the granite from the soldiers shortly before they died. All wars of the 20th century are represented.

2768 Why am I doing this?

If you stop by often, you may notice I'm not using Mr. Linky any more. That's the automatic sign in. At first, it was really cute and simple. But then it started changing. So why'd I drop it? Well, you have to sign in again when you leave a comment, don't you? So the time you save as a blogger, you use up at someone else's site with a double sign in--especially those that make you jump through hoops and hunt for the comment window while listening to ugly music. Also, if you use Mr. Linky the next time, it disappears from the former entry--yes, the reader could go to the trouble to click, open and read it, but who does that? And I doubt that those links "count" on the various sites that rank blogs (today I'm #201 based on links (or a magic formula I don't understand), which isn't too bad considering there are 50 million blogs). The time involved in meme participation is reading the other blogs, not in typing in your name, only to have it disappear anyway with the next time the writer uses Mr. Linky.

Also, increasingly for meme sites, I'm only visiting bloggers because some are just too difficult to leave comments. I know spam is a problem, but unless you are really controversial or flaunting how sexy you are, drawing trolls and sock puppets to your site, do you really need all that protection?

2767 Crabby people are the smartest

One of my regular readers will certainly agree. What would we do without studies? Apparently a study has shown that after age 60, the crabbiest people are the smartest (Jacqueline Bichsel, Morgan State University).

"The theory is that more challenging and argumentative people may be giving themselves more of the mental workout needed to keep their minds sharp." Another theory is that smart people don't like being patronized, which is the attitude many older people get, so they might snap at you if you say something sappy.

Did you see that Orlando and St. Pete are #1 and #2 for angry people? Must be a lot smart alecky older golfers around there. I think Columbus was #53.

When Michelle, the Convivial Librarian, asked Middle School students what words came to mind with "librarian," they responded: "Cardigan" "old" "sssshh-ers" "mean" "crabby" "smart" and "read often." Works for me!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen very easy, inexpensive or free things we can do this week to make the world a better place for a few moments. Pick just one. Two if you're feeling lucky and joyful.

1. Let someone into merging traffic--even if he's driving like an idiot and not waiting his turn.

2. Smile at him. The Bible says something about being nice is heaping hot coals on your enemy. Picture that when you arrive at the stoplight at the same time.

3. Pick up one or two pieces of trash--a plastic bag, candy wrapper, pop bottle, etc.--from the sidewalk or berm on your way to work or activity. What if millions of people did that?

4. Drop it in the nearest trash can. Create jobs for sanitation crews.

5. Put a quarter in the tip jar at the coffee shop.

6. Be classy instead of colloquial. Say "You‘re welcome," instead of "no problem" if someone thanks you.

7. Donate a jar of peanut butter to the local food pantry.

8. Or offer to volunteer on your day off.

9. Send a card to someone who is ill or shut-in or grieving.

10. If you don't know anyone like that, praise God and call a church or nursing home for a name and make a stranger happy.

11. If someone comes to visit, turn off the television and the music.

12. Hold open the door for someone whose hands are full.

13. If you pack someone’s lunch, put a happy note or cartoon inside.

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2765 Was your high school deactivated?

Illinois has a Glory Days website for deactivated high schools. It is an interesting site and they are looking for stories and photos and records for a lot of schools. Mine seems pretty complete, since it only submerged in the 1990s. I checked my mother's school, which deactivated in the 1950s and it seems a little sparse. I'll have to dig around in my old photos and see what I can come up with.

It's very sad when a town loses its school system. It's hard to make it as a community without that unifying effort of educating for the future. Mt. Morris lost its schools from greed, disaster and duplicity. There was a strike in its major industry, printing, about 30 years ago which spelled economic disaster for the formerly proud and prosperous town, then the bond issues didn't pass, then after they started bussing the high school kids to the next town, the grade school burned to the ground in 2004. Instead of rebuilding as the town wanted, the local rep on the school board back-stabbed his constituency and voted not to rebuild. He's since moved out of state, which was probably smart.

2764 How it all started

"On November 4, 1979, Iranian militants stormed the United States Embassy in Tehran and took approximately seventy Americans captive. This terrorist act triggered the most profound crisis of the Carter presidency and began a personal ordeal for Jimmy Carter and the American people that lasted 444 days." (Carter Library website)

And he wimped out. Disgraced himself and the USA. So now he runs around criticizing the only President we've had who is willing to stand up to terrorists. Way to go Jimmy. I've mentioned before that I liked Jimmy Carter in the 70s (I'm a recovering Democrat--but I don't dem anymore). I ignored a lot of his flaws. Inflation about about 14% or was that the mortgage rate? Unemployment was very high. Gasoline lines were long. He created FEMA. He had marketed himself as an "outsider," and thus he never really got "in," because his own party bigwigs didn't like him much. Really, they still don't.

Ex-presidents should mind their own business. Peanuts. Building houses. Stuff like that. They had their chance and they should stop acting like bitter former wives trying to make themselves look good by tearing down their successors. His approval rating was around 29% when he left office, and I wish he'd stop trying to get it up.

2763 The most popular Lakeside activity

When I was in the Association office the other day buying stamps, there was a line of people signing up for the Tram Tour, "Lakeside's History." We did this about 5 years ago with a neighbor, and I think we were the only 3 people on the ride. The tours are Monday and Tuesday mornings, 10:30-11:45, Monday afternoon 1:15-2:30, and Tuesday 3:30-4:45. Now, if you come here, you need to sign up first thing, or miss it. This week I saw 4 people on bicycles following along.

Carol, who leads the tour, grew up here attending local schools. The last tour date is August 29, and it costs $3 per person.